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Conducting business in Korea: company EtiquetteСЋ Koreans hold to firm Confucian traditions

Conducting business in Korea: company EtiquetteСЋ Koreans hold to firm Confucian traditions

Developing a knowledge of Korean tradition as well as its impact on company methods is really important to your company’s success in Korea. While courteous manners that are canadian more often than not be recognised as courteous behavior – and Koreans try not to expect foreigners become specialists inside their tradition – efforts to know about Korean customs and language will likely to be well gotten, and can direct you towards building more powerful business relationships.

Confucian Impact

Koreans hold to firm Confucian traditions, which stress respect for training, authorities and people that are older. Although contemporary Koreans might not stay glued to Confucian concepts as rigidly, these concepts continue steadily to underpin customs that are many company methods.

With all this Confucian influence, Koreans intuitively establish hierarchical relationships based on age, place, status and academic history of other individuals in accordance with on their own. Don’t be astonished by questions about how old you are, marital status or academic back ground. Although these questions are thought by many people Canadians to be personal in nature – and unrelated to company – they truly are a device employed by Korean businesspeople to put you inside this hierarchical structure.

provided the value and value that Confucianism places on relationships, beyond their loved ones, numerous Koreans are devoted to other people connected with their very own business, alma mater, hometown or host to worship. Koreans are comfortable using the services of visitors to who they feel physically linked. Maintaining this at heart, shared intermediaries can be quite useful in developing company connections; cool telephone phone telephone calls is only going to hardly ever create results.

Korean Names

A Korean name consists of a family group title, often of 1 syllable, plus a provided title, often of two syllables. Your family name comes first (Kim Tae-Woo, as an example). Until one extends to be on really terms that are good a counterpart, it’s always best to utilize the family title preceded by a name such as for example Mr., Mrs. or skip, whether talking right to the counterpart or talking about him or her to another Korean. Whenever handling a counterpart in settings that call for great respect or formality, you should utilize your counterpart’s formal name and surname (Chairman Lee, as an example). Some Koreans who possess invested time that is significant could have used a western very very first title, and choose that it’s utilized over their loved ones title. Some Koreans see their title as a tremendously individual thing, so a suggestion to function on a first-name foundation might be sluggish to be provided.


For appointments, it really is considered courteous to reach on-time or simply a minutes that are few. Koreans generally keep a schedule that is full which early arrivals can disrupt. Arriving late is certainly not suggested, nonetheless, as they can be seen as a snub by the host. If traffic or any other dilemmas delay you, phone ahead to tell your host that you will be operating later.

At a meeting that is initial expect you’ll start with some little talk, including conversation on regardless if you are making a primary stop by at Korea, your impressions of this nation, along with your family members, favourite activities (golf is first-rate web site to study an obvious favourite among Koreans) as well as other passions.

It’s also wise to anticipate to socialize together with your Korean company lovers for a level that is personal of regular company hours. It continues to be exceptionally typical to construct company relationships through informal gatherings that are social involve hefty ingesting and eating. They are primarily aimed at building a stronger personal relationship that will underpin your business dealings while it is not unusual to discuss business during these social gatherings.

Business Cards

The trade of company cards is effective in determining ranking in the structure that is hierarchical and enables Koreans to quickly figure out their counterpart’s place and title. The trade of company cards is very important, and plays a important part in initial conferences. While nevertheless standing, Canadian businesspeople should politely control a company card over with two arms, and get one out of return. Try not to simply drop the card right into a pocket upon receipt, but alternatively have a seconds that are few review names and games. On the table in front of you for the duration of the meeting if you are sitting down, place it. Koreans will spot cards up for grabs in the order of the sitting plan, a smart training that enables names become held right during conferences.

Canadian businesspeople travelling in Korea should carry company cards such as Korean text. During the time that is same provided sensitivities surrounding Korea’s historic relationship with Japan, avoid exchanging company cards such as Japanese text whilst in Korea.

Bowing and Handshakes

Koreans are acclimatized to bowing to those senior for them as a type of greeting and also to show respect. The junior individual initiates the bow, bending through the waistline to an angle of between 30 and 45 levels from straight. The greater amount of senior individual will acknowledge by going back a less bow that is accentuated. Bowing in Korea isn’t as pronounced as with other countries, such as for example Japan.

As whenever trading company cards, it really is considered courteous to provide and get articles making use of two arms in the place of one. That is carried over to the handshake by stretched the best hand and cupping the remaining hand below and round the elbow that is right. Even though it is considered courteous for Canadian businesspeople to increase a straightforward handshake when greeting and taking leave, they ought to not be astonished by way of a two-handed handshake and a bow through the span of an initial conference.


When you yourself have further questions regarding company etiquette in Korea, or need other advice and help when you look at the Korean market, please contact a part of our group.

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